I would appreciate if you would please highlight in your legal article the abuse of disabled parking spaces by lazy able-bodied people who are apparently too selfish to park elsewhere. Can fines and penalties be imposed on such people who wrongly use these spaces?
The Road Traffic Act 2002 introduced a fixed charge system for common parking offences to include the misuse of disabled parking spaces. A fixed charge for motorists parking in disabled spots without displaying a valid permit has recently increased from €80 to €150.Both traffic wardens and the Gardai may issue these parking fines.
The announcement was made by Minister for Transport Shane Ross, in March of this year in response to “the selfish and thoughtless behaviour of certain motorists”.
Minister Ross said: “[They] think it is alright to park in a disabled bay without a permit, thereby depriving disabled drivers of safe, convenient access to parking spaces reserved for them, I have decided that the fixed charge should be increased from €80 to €150.
“I hope that this increased charge will encourage able-bodied motorists to refrain from taking parking spaces reserved for those who need them.”
Motorists have 28 days to pay the fixed charge of €150. Failure to pay within this time period will result in the charge increasing to €225 if paid within the following 28 days. Failure to pay within this additional time period will result in legal proceedings being initiated.
Private car park operators are responsible for policing the use of designated disabled parking bays in their own car parks and cars parked illegally in these bays may be clamped. Fees for release will vary depending on the operator.